Creaky Knees
A Guide for Older Ladies

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When you get to fifty you suddenly find a different sort of junk mail dropping through your letter box.   You'll get your first free copy of SAGA magazine, along with ads for hearing aids, high chairs, walking sticks, magnifying glasses, incontinence pants, beds that lift you up and things that massage your poor clapped out old body.

What you might find at fifty is a bit shocking so don't look in the mirror.  You don't want to be reminded that everything's slipping south, one chin is now three chins and a waistline is something you remember with affection.

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If you wake up in the morning with your boobs under your armpits and creaky knees don't despair.   This is what I did.  It may not meet with my doctor's approval but it works for me.

1) Remove the bathroom mirror.

2) Bin all the junk mail as soon as you get it.

3)Ignore advice to slow down now that you're getting older.

4)Take the dog out before work as well as after. Go for a bit of a run instead of just a walk.     I'm fully awake by the time I get to the office while the youngsters are still yawning.

5) Take cod liver oil capsules every day.  Cod liver oil is rich in omega 3 fish oils that are supposed to be good for the heart.  It also helps with creaking joints and since I've been taking it I've got more energy.  My boss swears by it for reducing stress.  I take 1100mg a day.  I also give Jamie a 550mg capsule daily and he seems to have a bit more energy too.

6) Some people swear by glucosamine to help with joint problems.  We now buy these from Tesco.  I take one tablet per day and Jamie has half a tablet.  I must admit my knees no longer creak and I don't know whether it's the tablets or not.   Whatever it is I'm delighted and very fortunate to be able to run with my dog.

Running an agility dog
I have seen some extremely fit people leaping barriers and racing their dogs round the ring.  I can't pretend to be one of them and I know there will be times when Jamie gets ahead of me. To get over the problem I've taught him to "go on" when told, enter the weaves on his own and to "walk on" when he's approaching any contact equipment.  It really does help knowing that he'll carry on even if I'm not up there with him.  It takes a fair amount of training but it's worth it.   Jamie's not perfect of course and he has been known to come back and find out where the hell I am, but mostly he does keep going.  Don't be disappointed if your dog doesn't do all these things straight away.  It takes a lot of time and patience and I don't think dogs really settle down in the ring until they're older and have some experience.  Jamie was five before he really started going well but he's never had the speed to get out of elementary. We've had quite a few good places though in both elementary and starters, and as long as we're both enjoying ourselves we're quite happy with that.  

Finally, if you haven't started agility yet and you think you might be getting too old for this sort of thing, you are absolutely wrong.  It's not unusual at a show to find yourself waiting to go in the ring along with a nine year old and a seventy year old.    After seventy, handlers either proudly boast about their age or they keep very quiet.  They still win though so in spite of your comparative youth you'll have some competition on your hands.  Good luck and happy jumping.

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